Michael Crabtree vows to appeal $2,500 fine

San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree says he’ll appeal a $2,500 fine for a late hit on the 49ers’ final offensive play in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles. And he should appeal, because he did nothing wrong.

Eagles cornerback Trevard Lindley intercepted a 49ers pass with 32 seconds left and then fell to the ground, knowing that the only way the Eagles could lose was if he fumbled. But then Lindley foolishly got back up without anyone touching him, and that’s when Crabtree wisely ran into Lindley and knocked the ball loose.

Lindley fell on the ball, and the Eagles took a knee on the next play to preserve the victory, but it was smart of Crabtree to attempt to force the fumble.

Nobody touched him,” Crabtree said. “I was just trying to make a play. I didn’t see nobody touch him, so I was just trying to hit him.”

You can see the play at NFL.com, and it’s clear that Crabtree wasn’t trying to take a cheap shot — he was just trying to force a fumble, which is what any player should be trying to do in that situation.

The NFL’s decision to fine Crabtree for a heads-up play is strange. This is an appeal Crabtree should win.

39 responses to “Michael Crabtree vows to appeal $2,500 fine

  1. Crabtree was fined because the call on the field was that the player “gave himself up” so the play was dead. They gave Crabtree a personal foul penalty for hitting the player after he was called “down”.
    Although I didn’t hear a whistle, and neither did Crabtree.

  2. Ah, no. Because Lindley did not fall down making the interception, he downed the ball. If a receiver on a kick off takes a knee, and no one touches them, are they live? NO! Lindley takes a few steps of his own accord and then willfully goes down. The ball is downed. Lindley did not get up to return the ball. He kneed the ball, and then got up when he was hit from Crabtree from behind (but hey Crabtree is in san fransisco so theres not anything wrong with that).

  3. When a ball carrier willingly gives himself up and takes a knee or goes to the ground feet first the play is dead.

  4. Yeah, I noticed Lindley got up before anybody touched him also. And the announcers seemed to not notice either because they didnt mention anything about a fumble. When I saw that the refs were blowing the play dead, I thought maybe you’re considered “down” as soon as you begin slide, but I guess not.

  5. The NFL’s decision to fine Crabtree for a heads-up play is strange. This is an appeal Crabtree should win.
    No, it’s the NFL. More and more of these fines are becoming a joke and a half.

  6. I think they should just stick with penalties for on-field infractions committed during the play. At least anything short of taking your helmet off and swinging it at someone or stomping on a helmetless gurode.

  7. I’m not a fan of either team so my opinion is not biased but I disagree with you. First of all, Crabtree was already determined to give him a shot whether he was getting up or not. Crabtree’s body was flying in before he was able to determine that Lindley was getting back up. 2nd, Lindley gave himself up when he went to the ground. It was obvious what he was doing. He was ending the game. It was definitely unnecessary roughness from Crabtree and his intention was to come in and give a nasty hit because he was bitter, not because he thought he was getting up.

  8. Lindley CLEARLY gave himself up in order to end the play, just a QB does when he slides feet first. In my opinion, Crabtree will lose the appeal.

  9. If only Crabtree cared as much about catching passes… or scoring touchdowns… or practicing… or winning…

  10. Did Lindley fall to the ground declaring himself down? Or did he then get up and try to advance the ball (a stupid decision if this is how it happened). If Lindley did the smart thing by trying to conserve the win by giving himself up and the play was in essence blown dead, the fine should stand. Players can take a knee and kill the play before being touched by an apposing player. It doesn’t happen often and it seems that players and officials alike don’t know what to do when it does happen.
    Now, I haven’t seen the play, so I can’t say with authority that Lindley meant to end the play. But if he did, then indeed Crabtree should be fined for a late hit.

  11. if the whistle hadn’t been blown yet(I haven’t seen the play), then the nfl should learn to back off on the fines a little bit. Crabtree was making a smart play. who gets all the money from these fines, anyhow? it must add up to quite a bit every season, and if the people who dole out the fines are pocketing the money, there should be a serious investigation into fraud, or at least take the power away from them due to a conflict of interest.

  12. I just watched the play and I think the Defender obviously declared himself down and Crabtree speared him to knock the ball loose. I don’t know that it’s fine worthy, but I do think there is an argument for the fine to stand. Players and officials both need to understand the relatively defenseless position players can sometimes be in when declaring themselves down.

  13. Did any of you retards actually watch the video? Lindley went down and got up – after that he’s fair game, end of story.

  14. Goodell has to be the worst commissioner ever in all of professional sports. I’m sick of what he has turned this league into.

  15. @zaggs
    Nice to see your post made it through and the post police are still allowing a little fun, though I bet now that I have called attention to it they take it down!

  16. the play is a bit of a gray area.
    lindley went down, but the way he went down seemed like he was trying fake out a niner player and slipped on the field.
    if a rb trying to cut back slipped on the field, he wouldn’t be consider defenseless and going down. You see plenty of dlinemen and linebacks pounce on the guy.
    Hard to tell if there was a whistle blown or not due to the voice overs.

  17. hey slim charles just used the word retard, where are the p.c. police?dosn’t retard fall under the offensive catagory nowadays?oh wait I just used it nevermind!

  18. you have got to be one of the worst reporters on this site(that’s saying something). A good reporter tries to find out the whole story before he writes it. You did not.
    Stop allowing your readers to finish writing the story because you were too inept to.

  19. In related news, Silva says Hayward-Bey still sucks, and his fine stats don’t compare to Crabtree’s.

  20. If he wanted to down himself, he should have either gone to a knee or done a proper slide. You know, feet first. He did neither. He then got up. Since there still hadn’t been a whistle, play should go on and Crabtree made a hit on the ball and knocked it loose. Even if he had been downed by contact, which he wasn’t, it’s the ref’s responsibility to blow the whistle. It was ridiculous that it was a penalty and even more so that he was fined. NFL now stands for National Flag-football League.


  22. he obviously went to the ground and gave himself up, He was not touched but just like a quarterback doesnt have to be touched when he kneels on the ball to run out the clock. once his knee is on the ground the play should have been blown dead. That being said you are taught to play to the whistle and crabtree did his job, I think the ref who failed to blow the play dead should pay crabtree’s fine for him. I am an eagles fan and wish some of our players showed the heart to keep playing to the whistle.

  23. Will someone please cite in the rulebook the rules regarding downing the ball? Seems to me you can’t “give yourself up” during a live play like some of you are saying outside of a QB sliding feet first. It’s one of those phantom “rules” that fans conveniently bring up when it benefits them. A WR catches the ball, goes down without a defender touching him, and the ref is supposed to make a judgement call if the WR “gave himself up”? Play is still alive in my book. Prove me wrong.

  24. AND he got a penalty on the play…terrrible, terrible call and they have the nerve to fine him?? the fool posing as a ref who threw that flag should be fined..gimmie a break…the calls have been really, really bad this year…too many old fogeys running around..time to upgrade NFL>

  25. I can’t believe they fined him when there was no whistle. Also, $2,500 has got to be the smallest fine the NFL doles out. I haven’t heard of anything smaller.

  26. @ cheddar is back
    First off, you should know this rule already since you are a football fan, but I did scare up a PDF of the 2007 rulebook, which should be the same today as far as this year’s rules go too. Here’s a link to the rulebook I found (after a lot of Google Searching.)
    Citing the relevant rule: Rule 7, Section 4 Dead Ball
    Article 1 An official shall declare dead ball and the down ended:
    (a) when a runner is out of bounds or declares himself down by falling to the ground
    and makes no effort to advance.
    (b) any time a quarterback immediately drops to his knee (or simulates dropping his
    knee) to the ground behind the line of scrimmage during the last two minutes of a
    half. The game clock will not stop during this action.
    (c) whenever a runner declares himself down by sliding feet first on the ground. The ball
    is dead at the spot of the ball at the instant the runner so touches the ground.
    Part (a) is obvious, but the QB downing the ball at the end of a half should have precluded even requesting this citation. A player can always declare himself down by going to the ground and not attempting to advance the ball. The officials got it right. The NFL is not out of line for fining Crabtree.

  27. @Agememnon:
    The officials in the game got it WRONG, NOT ONCE BUT TWICE! You are correct in qouting the dead ball rule. The Eagles DB was clearly intending to give himself up. Here’s the problem. Although he should be down and the play over, NONE OF THE 11 ZEBRAS WITH NOISEMAKERS USED THEM. They were inexplicably waiting for a 49er to touch him down. And with the absense of a whistle, Crabtree was COMPLETELY justified in what he did, especially since it wasn’t dirty.

  28. Agamemnon, according to the rules you posted, crabtree did nothing wrong. Look at the first sentence. “An official shall declare dead ball and the down ended: ” That didn’t happen. The rule doesn’t say that the players should have to make that decision on weather or not the player is down. If they want to fine someone, fine the official.

  29. @ myopinionisrighterthanyours
    I already said in a previous post that referees often appear to be shocked by players giving themselves up like this, and do not blow the whistle when they should. But that doesn’t give players an excuse to engage in prohibited behavior. Because you know who else should know the rules besides the refs?
    **The Players**

  30. @Andrew9erfan
    By your reasoning, then players that get hit out of bounds shouldn’t get flagged if the ref didn’t blow the whistle. Likewise if a QB slides feet first, but the whistle doesn’t blow and the QB gets speared by a DB, should that penalty not count either?
    Sorry to say, this time the refs got it right, and the NFL is warranted in fining Crabtree. I probably wouldn’t have, but it is one of the smaller fines. There’s much more egregious rulings and penalties called or not called to complain about than this one.

  31. Not at all. Those are very objective situations. This is a subjective one. When a QB slides feet first, he is not allowed to be hit. If he doesn’t slide feet first, he is fair game. In those cases you mentioned, it really has nothing to do with weather the play is dead or not. There was no clear definable situation. That is why it is up to the ref’s to call the play dead. Every coach tells their players to play till the whistle. There have been plenty of instances when a player will stop because he thinks it should be dead(and sometimes correctly) and gets burned as a result. Crabtree did what he was supposed to do. I suppose we don’t even need the ref’s to blow plays dead because the players should be able to determine it on their own.

  32. You actually disproved your point with your post. It says that the ref’s may declare a player down in that situation, not that other players should not hit them regardless. The rules specifically state that you cannot hit a QB who is sliding or a player who has gone out of bounds. In this case it specifically leaves it up the the officials. It also says “makes no effort to advance the ball.” After falling down, he got up immediately and started forward. Sorry, but you are wrong.

  33. Andrew9erfan, I think you might be looking at the situation through red and gold colored glasses there. I’m a Vikes fan and have no stake in the game.
    This is an objective situation. When a player, with no one around them, especially at the end of a game when the int seals it, goes to ground of his own accord, it is obvious he’s declaring himself down. He even got up as if the play was over. I give Crabtree credit for not trying to give up, but I do think this is a correct interpretation of the rules.
    This isn’t an instance where some technicality can be applied, which is what you are attempting to do. The ball is down. Yes, the refs have a responsibility to blow the play dead. But players also have a responsibility to not take cheap shots. Now, let me be clear, I do not think Crabtree’s intent was to be cheap. He was frustrated and wanted to win the game. But it was also wrong.

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